Male journalists have been the primary ‘storytellers’ of this year’s election news since January. During the GOP Primaries and General Election, men have had their stories published in the traditional print media at a 3-1 ratio compared to women.
Today’s post was inspired by the Women’s Media Center (WMC), a non-profit progressive women’s media organization that aims to ensure that women’s stories are told and women’s voices are heard. The 4thEstate project has a nascent partnership with WMC for measuring women’s participation in the media over time. Today’s data is evidence of the strong need for their new radio program “Women’s Media Center Live”.
Print election coverage since April 15th, the unofficial start to the general election (Santorum dropped out on April 12th), has been brought to us mostly by male journalists. 72.1% of print articles written on the election since April 15th were written by men and just 27.9% were written by women. During the GOP Primary, the ratio was slightly more skewed toward male journalists. From January 1 – April 14, over three-quarters (76.2%) of election print articles were written by men while only 23.8% were written by women.
Female journalists have reported most, as have male journalists, on campaign issues such as Horse Race, Debates, Strategy and also Character, and the Economy. The topics on which female journalists have provided almost as much coverage as male journalists are Social Issues. Female journalists account for 46% of the articles that discuss Social Issues. This includes issues such as abortion, contraception, and women’s rights (a full list can be found on our Methodology page. Interestingly, despite this higher percentage of women as ‘storytellers’ on Social Issues, this does not translate into a balanced representation of female newsmakers (sources quoted in the articles) within these stories, as alluded to in our Gender Gap infographic that we released in early June.